Over the last year, Microsoft added some useful updates for their Azure Government that makes it continually easier to use. Many of these updates continue making Azure attractive to major governmental organizations for secure cloud services.
This last fall, Microsoft offered a new portal allowing simpler access to many of Azure’s features. It also integrated in one place many of the services and applications the software provides.
While Azure already had an old portal containing their applications in a convenient location, this was a redesign for faster access.
With a preview given this last fall, it’s now in full use. However, Microsoft offered an option to use the classic portal for a while to help in the transition.
Here’s some tips on how to use the current portal if you’re new to Azure this year.
Finding Your Existing Resources
When you first sign in to the new portal, you’ll find a list of existing resources that you’re using in Azure. It’s easy to manage existing and new resources together in the portal.
One of the major changes is the ability to customize your portal dashboard. This lets you set up an application order while placing them in more convenient places for easy clicking.
Through the “edit dashboard” icon, you can design it how you want while also switching to full-screen mode if needed.
As you can see from the new design, the UX has far more simplification and better organization. You have easily accessible icons for “Marketplace”, “My Resources”, as well as “Help/Support.”
The easier access to the latter is just one reason so many government offices prefer using Azure when still on a learning curve.
The +New Button
When you need to start a new resource in Azure, the updated portal lets you do so easily by simply clicking +New. A new blade opens so you can create new computing, network, or storage resources.
Working with Virtual Machines in the portal is far easier as well thanks to new imagery. In the beginning, Azure used imagery from Windows Server and SQL Server. Since then, they’ve added new images in the user interface to readily identify your VM’s.
Organization is far more efficient for each category. All of your resource groups are on the left, and your marketplace categories are on the right. In the Marketplace, you’ll find fast ways to check in on VM’s, data & storage, Internet of Things, plus your networking.
When you click “Browse” in the new portal, you’ll open a new blade that offers additional extensions. Simply click the star next to the extension name to pin any item to the left blade for easier access.
As simple as this is, it’s a great aesthetic move on Microsoft’s part for quicker ways to access Azure features.
They include small squares next to each item to view your applications in the old portal.
A More Thorough Search and Feedback
In the upper right corner of the new portal, you’ll find a search box letting you find more details about your resources. You’ll also find a more convenient notifications box in the menu. Next to this, you’ll find an icon allowing you to change your portal settings without having to go through protracted methods.
The fourth icon at the top right gives you a question mark for sending feedback to Microsoft about what you think of the new portal. Even though it’s been out for six months now, Microsoft continually proves they listen carefully to their user opinions every year.
About cFocus Software
Established in 2006, cFocus Software automates FedRAMP compliance and develops government chatbots for the Azure Government Cloud, Office 365, and SharePoint.
We are the exclusive vendors of ATO (Authority To Operate) as a Service™.
cFocus Software is Microsoft Gold certified, ISO 9001:2008 certified, and a certified participant in the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program.
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